Mango – nutrition, proven health benefits and uses

The scientific name of mango is Mangifera indica Linn. Other names incude

ARABIC: Manja, Manga, Mangô, Mangu.
ARMENIAN: Mang, Mango.
ASSAMESE: Aam, Aamro, Ghariyam.
BENGALI: Aama, Amchur.
BURMESE: Thayeq dhì, Thayeq.
CHINESE: Mi wang, Wang guo, Guo, Ma meng.
CZECH: Amčur , Mangovník indický.
DANISH: Mango, Mangofrugt, Mangotræ.
DUTCH: Manga, Mangga, Manja, Mangoestanboom, Mangostanboom.
ESTONIAN: India mangopuu (tree), Mangopulber.
FINNISH: Mango, Mangopuu.
FRENCH: Mangue, Manguier.
GERMAN: Indischer Mangobaum, Mango , Mangofrucht, Mangobaum, Mangopalme.
GREEK: Magko, Mangko.
GUJARATI: Aambo, Ambodiya, Marvo.
HAUSA : Mangoro, Mangwaro.
HEBREW: Mango.
HINDI: Āma, Am chur, Āmacura, An̄cūra, Kaccā āma.
JAPANESE: Anchaa, Mangoo, Mangou.
KANNADA: Āmra, Maavu, Māvina haṇṇu, Mavinkai churu.
KHMER: Svaay.
KOREAN : Mang go.
LAOTIAN: Mak mouang, Mwàngx.
LITHUANIAN: Indinis mangas.
MALAY: Ampelam, Mangga, Mangga, Mempelam.
MALAYALAM: Amram, Choothaphalam, Manga, Maav, Maavu, Mampalam.
MARATHI: Amba, Amchuur, Aamchuur.
NEPALESE: Aanpa, Amacura.
ORIYA: Aamba, Amchura.
POLISH: Drzewo mangowe, Mango indyjskie.
PORTUGUESE: Manga, Mangueira.
RUSSIAN: Манго Mango
SANSKRIT: Aamra, Ambrah, Amra chuta, Madhuula Madhuulaka, Madhuuli, Madhuulii.
SINHALESE: Amba, Dumpara, Etamba, Amba gasa.
SLOVAKIAN: Mangovník indický.
TELUGU: Amramu, Māmiḍi, Māmiḍi kāya, Māmiḍi paṇḍu, Myāṅgō.
THAI: Mamuang.
URDU: Aam, Amba, Amchur, Amchur.


Mango is a large tree, with a dense and spreading crown. Leaves are oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 10 to 30 centimeters long. The flowers are yellow, small, 3 to 4 millimeters long, borne on erect and hairy panicles, which as as often as long as the leaves. The fruit is a drupe, of varying shades of yellow, fleshy, oblong-ovoid,10 to 15 centimeters long, and slightly compressed, the skin is thin, and in the center is a large flattened, fibrous seed, and when ripe, surrounded by an edible yellow pulp.

It is a widely cultivated tree for its fruit. It has several varieties in cultivation in all tropical countries.



– Mangiferin; mangin; piuri-yellow dye; benzoic acid; citric acid; tannin, 10%.

– The leaves contain 43-46 percent euxanthin acid and some euxanthon.

– Seed contains a fixed oil, oleostearin, starch, gallic acid, and tannin.

– The bark exudate yields a resin, gum, ash, and tannin.

– Study of fruit exudation, “chep” resin, isolated three products: a resin, mangiferene; a resinous acid, mangiferic acid; and a resinol (phenol), mangiferol .

– Mangostine, 29-hydroxymangiferonic acid, mangiferin and flavonoids have been isolated from the stem bark. Leaves and flowers yield an essential oil containing humulene, elemene, ocimene, linalool and nerol.

– Methanol extract of twigs yielded 4, 8­Bis­hydroxymethyl­7­(1­ hydroxy­1­methyl­ethyl)­1­(3,4,6­trihydroxy­5­ hydroxymethyl­tetrahydro­pyran­2yl) 4­7­8­ trihydro­naphthalen­2­one.

– Phytochemical screening of leaves yielded total phenols, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins.

Medicinal Properties of Mango

• Root, diuretic; bark, astringent; seeds, astringent and vermifuge; leaves, pectoral.

• Considered antiseptic, antibacterial, antiinflammatory, diaphoretic, stomachic, vermifuge, cardiotonic and laxative.

• Seed kernel considered antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antioxidant, antiviral against uropathogens.

• Ripe fruit considered invigorating, refreshing, fattening, slightly laxative, and diuretic.

• Rind, fiber, and unripe fruit considered astringent and acid. The pickled unripe fruit is considered stomachic and appetizing.

Parts used and preparation

Leaves, kernel, bark and fruit.

Edibility / Nutritional

– Good source of iron (deficient in calcium); excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C.

– Fruit contains citric, tartaric and mallic acids.

– Food: As fruit or mango-ade. Makes a delicious ice cream. Slice and served with cream and sugar, taste has slightly similarity to peaches. Mangoes are canned with syrup, dried and candied, jammed. Unripe mangoes are chutneyed, or pickled in brine.

– Young, fresh leaves are used in native dishes like “kasui.” Also, prepared as tea.

Folkloric traditional medicine remedies and uses of mango

– In the Philippines, decoction of root is considered diuretic.

– Bark and seeds are astringent. In Cambodia, used in hot lotions for rheumatism and leucorrhea.

– In India and Cambodia, solution of the gum from the bark is swallowed for dysentery.

– Resin is used for aphthous stomatitis.

– Cough: Drink infusion of young leaves as needed.

– Diarrhea: Take decoction of bark or kernel as tea.

– Fluid extract, or infusion, used in menorrhagia, leucorrhea, hemorrhoidal bleeding, and hemorrhage from the lungs, nasal catarrh, and for lumbrici.

– Gum resin from the bark and fruit is used as sudorific; also as antisyphilitic.

– Root bark is a bitter aromatic, and in Sind, used for diarrhea and leucorrhea.

– Decoction of leaves with a little honey used for loss of voice.

– Gum resin from bark, mixed with coconut oil, used for scabies and other parasitic skin diseases.

– Juice of leaves used for dysentery.

– Tea of leaves with a little honey used for hoarseness and aphonia, 4 glasses daily.

– Powdered dried leaves, 1 tbsp to a cup of warm water, 4 times daily, used for diabetes. Also, decoction of 10-15 fresh mango leaves used for the same purpose.

– Ashes of burned leaves used for scalds and burns.

– Infusion of young leaves used in asthma and cough.

– Tea of powdered dried flowers, 4 times daily for diarrhea, urethritis.

– Juice of peel of unripe mangoes used for skin diseases.

– Seed is vermifuge and astringent.

– Seed is considered astringent, vermifuge; given in obstinate diarrhea and for bleeding piles.

– Kernel or stone from the green mango considered an anthelmintic.

– For asthma, bleeding piles, chronic dysentery, hematemesis, menorrhagia, leucorrhea, and round worms, powdered seed is given, with or without honey.

– In Indian traditional medicine, seeds used for vomiting, dysentery, diarrhea. Paste is made from seed, honey and camphor and applied over the vagina to make the vagina contracted and firm.

Others uses

– Dye: Yellow coloring produced from the leaves, bark, and fruit, called “peori dye” in India.

Scientific proven health benefits and uses of mango 


Review article updating info on phytochemical and pharmacological activities indicate mango possesses antidiabetic, anti-oxidant, anti-viral, cardiotonic, hypotensive, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Other studies suggest other effects: antibacterial, anti fungal, anthelmintic, anti parasitic, anti tumor, anti HIV, anti-bone resorption, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antidiarrheal, antiallergic, immunomodulation, hypolipidemic, anti microbial, hepatoprotective, and gastroprotective.

Antibacterial / Phytochemicals:

Study showed that leaf extracts of M. indica possess some antibacterial activity against S aureus, E coli, P aeruginosa and provides a basis for its medical use in Uganda. Phytochemical study showed saponins, steroids and triterpenoids, alkaloids, coumarins, anthracenocides, flavonones, tannins and reducing sugars.

Hematologic benefits:

Effects of Aqueous Extract of Mangifera indica L. (Mango) Stem Bark on Haematological Parameters of Normal Albino Rats: Stem bark extracts of MI showed positive effects on the haemopoietic system of test rats.

Antiinflammatory, Analgesic and Hypoglycemic: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and hypoglycemic effects of Mangifera indica Linn. (Anacardiaceae) stem-bark aqueous extract:

Results of the study support the folkloric use of the plant for painful arthritic and other inflammatory conditions, as well as T2DM.

Anti-Clostridium tetany activity or anti-Tetanus:

Study showed both the ethereal and ethanolic fractions of leaf extracts showed anti-clostridium tetani activity.


Mangifera indica stem bark effect on the rat trachea contracted by acetylcholine and histamine: Study showed MI blockage of histaminic and muscarinic receptors, supporting the traditional use of MI stem back in the treatment of asthma.


Immunomodulatory activity of alcoholic extract of Mangifera indica L. in mice: Study showed increased humoral antibody titer and delayed type hypersensitivity in mice suggesting a potential for a drug with immunostimulant properties.


Study showed leaf extract of MI possess hypoglycemic activity, possibly due to reduction in intestinal absorption of glucose.

Flavonoids / Antihyperlipidemic Effect:

Flavonoids from M indica effectively reduce lipid levels in serum and tissues of rats with induced-hyperlipidemia. Degradation and elimination of cholesterol were enhanced.


Oral administration of flavonoids showed significant antioxidant action in cholesterol-fed experimental rats. The activities of free radical-scavenging enzymes were significantly elevated and lipid peroxide content was significantly reduced in flavonoid-treated hypercholesterolemic rats.

Anti-diarrheal Activity:

Study of the methanolic and aqueous extracts of seeds of M indica showed significant anti-diarrhea activity, the effect partly attributed to the effect on intestinal transit.

Anti-Diabetic Activity:

Study showed all extracts had significant antihyperglycemic effect in type 2 model rats. The ethanol extracts of stem-barks reduced glucose absorption gradually during the whole perfusion period in type 2 rats.

Ethnopharmacology / Mangiferin:

Mangiferin is a major C-glucosylxanthone from the stem bark, leaves, heartwood, roots and fruits of M indica and has been reported to have a variety of pharmacologic activities including antioxidant, radioprotective, antitumor, immunomodulatory, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antibacterial, among others, supporting the numerous traditional uses of the plant.
Polyphenols / Antiulcerogenic Activity:

Study showed oral pretreatment with mangifera leaf decoction decreased the severity of gastric damage in induced-gastric lesions. Two main phenolic compounds isolated were mangiferin and C-glucosyl-benzophenone. The findings show the potential gastroprotective properties of the aqueous decoction from M indica leaves.

Anti-Cancer / Polyphenols:

A Texas Agrilife Research study by food scientists Dr. Susanne Talcott and Dr Steve Talcott found that polyphenol extracts from mango promote anticancer activity in certain colon and breast cancer cells in lab. The polyphenols also showed some effects on lung, leukemia and prostate cancers. Polyphenolics, more specifically gallotannins, belong to a class of bioactive compounds that can prevent of stop cancer cells. Further studies will look into efficacy and clinical relevance.


Bioactive studies of Mangifera indica against bacterial isolated from urine samples showed the aqueous and ethanolic seed kernel extract good antibacterial activity against E coli, S aureus and S pyogenes. The antibacterial activity may be due to specific phytochemical components. Toxic components were not detected in the seed kernel and also appear to be a safe source of antioxidants.

Anti-Diabetic / Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV Inhibitory Activity:

The insulinotropic hormone, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a recent addition to diabetes therapy, is metabolized by dipeptidyl peptidase IV, and inhibition of DDP IV enhance GLP-1 which improved insulin secretion and glucose tolerance. Study on the methanolic extract of Mangifera indica leaves show the inhibitory effect on DPPIV and present a potential novel approach to diabetes therapy.

Toxicological Studies / No Lethality :

Study of stem-bark aqueous extract (MSBE), by oral or dermal administration, showed no lethality at the limit doses, with no adverse effects. it was non-irritating on skin, ocular, or rectal mucosa. It also had minimal irritancy following vaginal application.

Antidiabetic / Seed Kernels :

Study evaluated the hypoglycemic potency of seed kernels of Mangifera indica ethanol extract in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed potent hypoglycemic activity. Possible mechanism of hypoglycemic action may be through potentiation of plasma insulin effect by increasing pancreatic insulin secretion from regenerated ß-cells or its discharge from bound insulin.

Mangiferin / Leaves :

Studies on mangiferin have shown antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, anti-HIV, antipyretic, anticancer, antidiabetic, anthelmintic, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective properties. The study isolated the pharmacologically active mangiferin using an uncomplicated method, with ethanol as solvent to obtain a crude extract.

Memory-Enhancing / Fruit :

Study evaluated an ethanolic extract of fruit on cognitive performances in step down passive avoidance task and elevated plus maze task in mice. Treatment reversed the aging and scopolamine-induced memory deficits. Results showed effects that are memory-enhancing in nature.

Leaves as Functional Food:

Study showed aqueous extract of mango leaves to be rich in total phenols and total flavonoids, and as powerful antioxidants should be used in manufacture processes of the natural products as function foods or as dietary supplement with antidiabetic activity and hypoglycemic effect.

Cytotoxic Effect on Human Breast Cancer Cell Line:

Study evaluated the potential anticancer effects of an ethanolic kernel extract on breast cancer cell (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7). Results showed the extract to be more cytotoxic to both estrogen positive and negative breast cancer cell lines than to normal breast cells.

Antimicrobial / Leaves:

Study evaluated various leaf extracts for antimicrobial activity against human and plant pathogenic bacteria. The hexane-ethyl acetate extract showed significant inhibition of almost all tested pathogenic organisms.

Combination Mangifera Extract and Methotrexate (MTX) in Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Study evaluated the possible therapeutic effects and safety of Mangifera indica extract (Vimang tablets, 300 mg) combined with methotrexate (MTX) on reducing disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Only patients of MTX-Vimang group showed statistically significant improvement in DAS (disease activity score) 28 parameters. In the same group, 100% of patients decreased NSAIDs use.

Antihyperglycemic / Leaves:

Study evaluated the antihyperglycemic activity of ethanolic extract of leaves in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed decreased alloxan effect and improvement in the laboratory parameters, suggesting a potential benefit for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Antioxidant / Protective Against Lipofundin-Induced Oxidative Stress:

Lipofundin is a lipid rich emulsion used in parenteral nutrition, known to induce an oxidative stress state characterized by increase lipid peroxidation and depletion of antioxidants. Study showed Vimang protects against Lipofundin-induced oxidative stress, reinforcing the antioxidant properties of the natural product.

Antihyperglycemic / Leaves:

The insulinotropic hormone, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a recent treatment for type 2 diabetes, is metabolized by DDP-IV (dipeptidyl peptidase IV). Inhibitors of DPP-IV enhance the level of GLP-1, which improve glucose tolerance and increase insulin secretion. Study showed a methanolic leaf extract to have potent in-vitro DPP-IV inhibitory activity, and may present a novel addition to the treatment of diabetes.

Anthelmintic / Leaves:

Various extracts of M. indica var. Thotapuri and M. indica var. Neelam were evaluated for anthelmintic activity against Pheretima posthuma. Results showed dose-dependent anthelmintic activity.
Immunostimulatory / Stem Bark:

Study evaluated the immunostimulatory effect of an ethanolic extract of M. indica stem bark in dexamethasone induced immunosuppressed male albino rats relative to immunoboosting effect of levamisole. Results showed a hepato-protective effect, a cholesterol lowering effect, and a stabilising tendency on the alanine aminotransferase concentrations.

Anti-Inflammatory / Colitis Model:

Study evaluated an aqueous extract of Mangifera indica on dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) induced colitis in rats. Results showed anti-inflammatory properties with improvement of clinical signs, reduction of ulceration, and reduced MPO activity when administered before DSS.

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